In Egypt, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit in March. Moreover, the agenda of the meeting will include the issue of restoring direct charter flights to Egyptian resorts — to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, which were banned back in 2015. It is quite logical to assume that the opening of charters to the resorts so beloved by many Russians, which actually perform the social function of making recreation available on the warm sea in winter, will be timed to coincide with the visit of the Russian leader to Egypt. Such a discovery will be extremely important and even salutary for the Russian tourism business, both for airlines and for travel agencies and tour operators, who will receive a truly massive, popular destination, which can have a high level of sales, even despite the general impoverishment of the population.
This news about Putin’s March visit was presented to its readers by the tourist press, and not the Egyptian, but the Turkish newspaper Turizmgazetesi. There is no official confirmation of this information yet, but the interest of the Turks in it is obvious — Egypt is Turkey’s main tourist competitor, which means that when direct flights from Russia to the Red Sea resorts are resumed, Russian tourist flow will be partially redistributed from Turkey to Egypt. At the same time, the publication did not forget to remind that Egypt’s hopes for other European markets, in particular, German, on the development of which Egypt was counting on, have now actually collapsed due to the coronavirus. Therefore, the return of Russian tourists to Egypt is critically important. Egyptian hotels claim that the «gap» formed after the departure of Russian tourists from Egypt in 2015 has not been filled. So they find this visit more than important. Recall that up to 2015, up to 3 million Russian tourists came to Egypt annually on vacation.
Indirectly, the imminent upcoming visit of Putin to Egypt is also confirmed by the intensifying information preparation for this summit: yesterday the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Cairo gave a big interview to the Russian press. Read the details in the article «The Russian Ambassador to Egypt: Moscow is determined to resume charter flights with Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.»
In the meantime, the Russian aviation security inspection continues to work at the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. She should complete the check on February 4th. According to the editorial staff of the TURPROM information group, the verdict of the Russian inspectors will be positive. Our correspondent was informed about this by several sources in Egypt related to this check.
Recall, according to the Egyptian edition of Al-Ahram, the inspection tour was scheduled from January 27 to February 4. «The Russian delegation intends to check the security and safety procedures adopted in the departure and arrival halls, as well as the safety procedures for baggage and passengers at both airports,» the newspaper said. The inspectorate will also check flight procedures, security measures related to airport fences, surveillance cameras and security systems on the runway, as well as the movement of employees in customs departments and on airplanes, the source added.
According to sources at Hurghada airport, the delegation will also check the security staff on the ground, as well as the precautions that the aviation authorities are following to protect travelers from COVID-19. In addition, Russian inspectors will check the food from the moment it is produced until it arrives on the plane, as well as monitoring the airport walls, surveillance cameras and runway security systems. They also state that: «The visit of the delegation is part of inspection trips conducted by Russia to check the latest procedures in relation to Russian aircraft before the resumption of air traffic and regular Russian and charter tourism to the resorts of Hurghada.»
Following the inspection, the delegation will meet with officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation before submitting the final report on the visit to the Russian Civil Aviation Authority. Further, as they expect in Egypt, the final order on the opening of the resorts will sound.
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